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NCPEID FEATURE ARTICLE–Assessment Practices in Adapted Physical Education

Melissa Bittner, Elizabeth Foster, Barry Lavay


Determining current motor assessment practices used in adapted physical education (APE) settings is necessary to provide information about appropriate application for students with disabilities, including how it may affect student placement, and progression of motor skills. However, there is very little research to examine the most appropriate and widely used assessment instruments by APE teachers. The purpose of this study was to investigate motor assessments used and determinants for selecting assessments by APE teachers in the United States. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 146 APE teachers from across the United States who are currently assessing students with disabilities. The APE Assessment Questionnaire, designed to determine which assessment instruments are being used nationally by APE teachers, consisted of four sections: (a) participant demographics, (b) school demographics, (c) assessment questions, and (d) professional development. Mann Whitney U nonparametric statistics and frequency analysis was used to determine which assessment instruments are being used by APE teachers. Results indicated the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 (50%), Adapted Physical Education Assessment Scale (42%), and Competency Testing for Adapted Physical Education (39%) were the most frequently used motor assessments nationally by APE teachers. It is necessary for APE teachers to be exposed to a variety and the most appropriate assessments for students with disabilities in physical education environments. Additional information gathered from the study provides current gaps within the assessment tools available to APE teachers. 

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Assessment; physical education; adapted physical education; motor

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